Your job is safe : For now

In first of its kind study, Mehrotra et el, compared 234 physicians (mostly residents and fellows) to Human Dx (a web and app based program to generate diagnosis).

Overall, they compared diagnoses for 45 clinical vignettes( 15 high, 15 medium, and 15 low-acuity condition vignettes and 26 common and 19 uncommon condition vignettes). No physical exam details were provided.

Physicians outperformed the web based program(72.1% vs 34.0%, P < .001).

Physicians provided the incorrect diagnosis in about 15% of cases, similar to prior estimates (10%-15%) for physician diagnostic error.

 

THE FUTURE

This study compared vignettes using simple web based symptom checker, one form of diagnostic tool. With advent of Watson, which can parse questions into different keywords and sentence fragments in order to find statistically related phrases and can process 500 gigabytes, the equivalent of a million books, per second, accuracy of computer programs will certainly outperform physicians.

Computers have already out performed humans in differentiating tumors from radiation necrosis on MRI images.

Too soon, we will be outsmarted by computer programs, as predicted by yours truly.

 

RS

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